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2 — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — english
here we are!
this is the very first time that the city of Utrecht is hosting the annual Gaudeamus Muziekweek.
Introduction Henk Heuvelmans
Meet Tomorrow’s Composers
Museum Speelklok: festival hub
Utrecht and Music Vera Carasso, Museum Speelklok
New Music – New Forms photo: Herre Vermeer
This is the very first time that the city of Utrecht is hosting the annual Gaudeamus Muziekweek. Utrecht provides us with a fantastic and challenging new environment in perfect keeping with what our festival offers, namely a platform for the newest music by creative, young people in an inspiring setting.
column Aad van Nieuwkerk
From MIDI to Four-Dimensional Sound
Muziekweek 2.0 column Martijn Buser
Gaudeamus Muziekweek as a Platform for the Development of International Talent Utrecht and Music Lucia Claus, Utrecht Stadsschouwburg
with Michel van der Aa and Rozalie Hirs
The Night of the Unexpected
Between Image and Sound the soundinstallations of the Muziekweek
We cordially welcome you all to this bubble bath of interesting sounds, where you will become a partner in a new music history! Henk Heuvelmans director
Nanette Ris, Muziekcentrum Vredenburg
Program overview and locations
14 + 15
Today’s music is an inter national, exceedingly colorful and lively world of composers, ensembles, bands, vocalists, musi cians, electronics, video and sound artists active in every corner of the world.
‘Thus my piece was selected for Gaudeamus
‘Do not rely on
‘Sometimes its good to
‘Do not rely on planned
‘I prefer to make my
a plan, and quite
Music Week :)’
talk to people you are
music, performers will
plans only on Friday
it comes out as though
trying to avoid, then you
cross your street anyway
night – any other would
it were planned, but
might know why you
and plan it their own
hamper me in some way.
planned by someone
wanted to avoid them in
way... The result will be
Why are people so afraid
‘...and if there’s no
‘And not enough money.’
you cross the street
the first place.’
unplanned and you can’t
time for a plan, it’s still
avoid it :)’
Proportions and Fantasy
two things are needed;
worth a try...’
Utrecht and Music
‘To achieve great things,
Biking for Inspiration
Quotes on Quotes
Besides the familiar festival features such as the popular Gaudeamus Prize, the composers’ meeting, The Night of the Unexpected, and top Dutch ensembles such as Klang, VocaalLab, the Nieuw Ensemble, Ereprijs, or Insomnio, we now also have quite a number of sound installations spread out over the city, new sound systems, and first-class inter national musicians such as the Seattle Chamber Players and Tomoko Mukaiyama. A music theater walk will depart from our festival hub at the Museum Speelklok and a daily radio program by our media partner, the VPRO, will be broadcast. And naturally we’ll be present at the finest concert locations in Utrecht: Vredenburg Leeuwenbergh, Tivoli Oudegracht, the Nicolaikerk, the Geertekerk, and the Fentener van Vlissingenzaal. We are proud that we may contribute to the flourishing of contemporary music in this beautiful city.
Beyond the notes
Utrecht has received us warmly, and with all the good things this city has to offer, this year’s festival edition will be totally different from previous years. Today’s music is an inter national, exceedingly colorful and lively world of composers, ensembles, bands, vocalists, musicians, electronics, video and sound artists active in every corner of the world. From this wide array, the Gaudeamus Muziekweek presents the most talented, original, and self-willed young makers to the city of Utrecht to stimulate your senses with their most recent work. We will gladly lead you through this exciting aural landscape of today’s contemporary music.
english — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — 3
Meet Tomorrow’s Composers
This festival is about tomorrow’s music made by tomorrow’s composers, about new, contem porary, up-to-the-minute music. The heart of the program consists of works by the thirteen composers nominated for the Gaudeamus Prize.
The jury of the Gaudeamus Prize nominated
works on new pieces with young composers.
Luc Brewaeys may be heard, in addition to one
thirteen works from four hundred compositions
This year’s four winners – Ryan Latimer, Peter
of the pieces nominated for the Gaudeamus
submitted from all over the world. The pieces
McNamarra, Thierry Tidrow and Benjamin
Prize, ‘Landscapes’ by Anna Korsun, and Raphaël
demonstrate the diversity of today’s composing:
Scheuer – will be presented in a special program
Cendo, currently a leading composer in Europe.
from the extremely concentrated sensitivity of
at the Fentener van Vlissingenzaal in the
‘Départ dans...’ by Yoshiaki Onishi to the muscled
rock sounds in ‘Velvet Hammer’ by Sean Friar,
rienced during this Muziekweek. Barbara
photo: Herre Vermeer
or the fragile, expressive vocal qualities of Anna
During the Muziekweek you of course will hear
Lüneburg comprised a program with music for
Korsun’s ‘Landscapes’. Thirteen pieces, praised
the very best Dutch musicians specialized in
violin and live electronics; Elisabeth Smalt and
by jury chairperson Rozalie Hirs as ‘really very
contemporary music. In addition to the above-
Vincent Hepp will play a shortlisted piece for two
mentioned ensembles, you can listen to the
violas by Andrew McIntosh; the brand new initia-
Nieuw Ensemble, the DoelenKwartet and
tive under the name European Contemporary
In addition to the nominated compositions,
VocaalLAB in programs built around the nomi-
Orchestra may be heard in various small groups
we will also meet a few former winners of the
nated pieces. In the Museum Speelklok, vocalist
in various locations (in co-production with the
Gaudeamus Prize. Yannis Kyriakides and Ted
Stephanie Pan and pianist Sarah Nicolls will per-
Open Monumentendag) and will perform works
Hearne won the competition in 2000 and 2009
form commissioned works, works at the cutting
by Ezequiel Menalled and Christiaan Richter and
respectively and now present new works, per-
edge of electronic and acoustic music. Here you
more; and a special sound walk by Robert van
formed by Tomoko Mukaiyama with the Seattle
will hear pieces by Wouter Snoei, Chad Langford,
Heumen and Simone de Jong combines music
Chamber Players, and Ensemble Klang. We will
Gert-Jan Prins, Hugo Morales, Daniel Schorno,
and text in an individual ‘road trip’. The Night of
also hear the results of two honorable mentions
Danny de Graan and Robert van Heumen.
the Unexpected is exactly what the title signi-
from last year’s competition: Insomnio will play
And that’s not all that can be musically expe-
fies: musicians from all corners of the spectrum
a new piece by Artur Akshelyan and Dirk Luijmes
Hexnut connects very diverse styles – jazz,
bring together a staggering quantity of musical
ventures into a new piece by Giuliano Bracci.
metal, classic, and improvisation – in its reper-
styles, and string these into a non-stop program
tory, and will bring a multi-colored program
that lasts an entire evening in the Tivoli pop
inspired by Edward Burtynsky’s fascinating
stage. The musical travel story ‘Götterfunken’ by
photos. Hexnut asked Jan Bas Bollen, Anthony
Wilbert Bulsink and Jeroen Kimman, performed
Fiumara, Mayke Nas, Seung-Ah Oh, David
by Rosa Ensemble of Utrecht, rounds off the
Dramm and Ned McGowan to write a composi-
The competition houses a multitude of styles, genres, and idioms that likewise translate to the rest of the program during the Gaudeamus Muziekweek. A week that crackles right from the start with a performance by the Rosa Ensemble at Neude Square, the heart of the city and the main loca-
tion inspired by Burtynsky’s photography. But even that is not all. Elsewhere in this maga-
The Muziekweek demonstrates that many composers are looking for connections with other art disciplines.
zine you can find information about the sound installations set up in the Museum Speelklok and throughout the city. There’s also special attention for the different ways in which music and electronics can interact.
tion of the Utrecht Uitfeest that day, the kick-off of the cultural season. For many years orkest
VocaalLab presents a program around vocality,
de ereprijs has organized its own international
video, and light, in which new works by Roderik
An overview of the whole program can be found
Young Composers Meeting, where the ensemble
de Man and the Belgians Daan Janssens and
on page 14 and 15.
4 — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — english
Museum Speelklok: Festival Hub
For the first time the Gaudeamus Muziekweek is being held in Utrecht. How music-minded is Utrecht? We asked three directors of Utrecht art institu tions about the musical experience that impressed them the most: Vera Carasso of the Museum Speelklok, Nanette Ris of Muziekcentrum Vredenburg and Lucia Claus of the Utrecht Stadsschouwburg.
photo: Herre Vermeer photo: Albertine Dijkema
For the first time Gaudeamus Muziekweek is being held in Utrecht, with the celebrated Museum Speelklok serving as the festival center. During the entire week this museum will be the hub of the festival, where in addi tion to information on the festival activities, concerts will be staged and beautiful sound installations may be admired. Moreover, the museum forms the beginning and the end of the sound walk, ‘Like Harry’.
Utrecht and Music
Naturally, the Muziekweek will also end at the Museum Speelklok, with the Gaudeamus Prize awards ceremony on Sunday, September 11th.
Vera Carasso Museum Speelklok
‘I find it difficult to name a single experience. Rob van Rijswijk / Jeroen Strijbos, Dadoc
Music is very dependent on the setting and the moment. At home on the couch with a beautiful CD on and a glass of wine is so differ
Museum Speelklok offers a natural environment
various sounds on and off. Also on offer are the
Sound installation route
ent from actually going to a concert. In May,
for the Gaudeamus Muziekweek. The museum’s
musical boxes that Karlheinz Stockhausen, one
Wed 7, Sat 10 en Sun 11 September,
we presented two concerts at the Museum
brilliant collection demonstrates mankind’s
of electronic music’s most significant pioneers,
from 12.00 hours
Speelklok on our brand new stage, with ‘Daring
fascination for ‘magic’ machines capable of pro-
constructed for his the Zodiac series.
Crossovers’ as theme, whereby musicians were
‘Like Harry’ offers quite a different view on how
Kees de Ruijter, our arranger at the Museum
music and sound can be situated in a special
Wed 7, Sat 10 en Sun 11 September,
Speelklok, can rework all sorts of music for the
context, in this case, in the public space of
from 11:00 hours, Museum Speelklok
instruments in the collection. Jazz horn player
Utrecht. This music theater walk by Robert van
departure between 11:00 and 12:00,
Morris Kliphuis chose something for one of
Heumen and Simone de Jong is a philosophical
13:30 and 14:30, 16:00 and 17:00 hours (except Sunday)
our most beautiful barrel organs, for which
ducing music without human interference.
Composers have always been interested in exploiting the specific technical qualities of this set of instruments and its more recent successors.
inspired by instruments in our collection. Jan
music trip, whereby the thoughts of someone
Jan Kees made glittering arrangements. The
else, namely Harry, nestle in your head. ‘Like
Not many organ grinders will have heard of the
Harry’ is an individual walk through the center of
Thu 8 September, 12:30 and 17:00 hours
Ellen ten Damme, Lucky Fonz III, Wouter Hamel
American Conlon Nancarrow, but he was the
Utrecht, beginning and ending at the Museum
and Christiaan Kuyvenhoven, thought it was
first composer to seriously use automatic music
Speelklok. Of course, information about the
instruments and to write pieces that could only
Muziekweek is available at the festival desk in
Rosa Ensemble – Götterfunken
the musicians themselves become inspired and
be performed by these machines. The pianola, of
the Museum Speelklok, and there are plenty
Sun 11 September, 17:00 hours
that the audience can feel it. At our ‘Daring
which a few beautiful examples are housed in the
of opportunities for the general public to meet
Crossovers’, old instruments were used in a new
museum, was the principal instrument for which
composers and musicians at the festival café.
Nancarrow composed. Like a street organ, the pianola is a piano with a mechanism that ‘reads’ a book with punched holes, which in turn operates the keyboard. The Disklavier – the modern, digital second cousin of the pianola – will also be presented at the festival, at the two ‘Disklavier
multimedia performance ‘Götterfunken’ by the Rosa Ensemble from Utrecht, composed by Wilbert Bulsink and Jeroen Kimman, and inspired by a cycling trip, biking thousands of kilometers along the borders of Eastern Europe. Naturally,
During the Muziekweek a number of sound
the Muziekweek is only really rounded off when
installations by leading Dutch artists may
the winner of the Gaudeamus Prize is announced
be seen and heard at the Museum Speelklok.
at the end of this concert in the Museum
Among the museum’s street organs and musi-
Speelklok. This first presentation of the Muziek-
cal boxes are two interactive installations by
week in Utrecht gains extra luster by the pres-
composer Dyane Donck and artist Jake de Vos.
ence of the mayor of Utrecht, Aleid Wolfsen,
Dyane Donck will also present ‘Yesterday’ and a
who will personally award the prize.
poser and performer Evelien van den Broek. We can also experience the successful Brabant duo Rob van Rijswijk and Jeroen Strijbos with their mysterious ‘Dadoc’, where listeners can create their own ideal aural environment by turning
context, resulting in a very special experience. go to that concert anywhere else. That unique ness also made it very special, of course. And at the same time one thinks, why can’t we do this again? So that more people could hear it! Luckily, there are many more exciting ‘Daring Crossovers’ scheduled at the Museum Speelklok
The Muziekweek will close in style with the
new work, both made in cooperation with com-
fantastic. The best thing at a concert is when
That evening was really unique. You couldn’t
Via a live stream on Internet, the VPRO radio station will present a daily broadcast on the festival, which makes the Muziekweek accessible to a large public.
Plus’ concerts on Thursday, September 8th.
In past decades, composers with a fascination for music machines have linked music and the visual arts.
musicians who played that evening, including
in the near future.’
english — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — 5
photo: Pieter Kers
Aad van Nieuwkerk
photo: Pieter Kers
New Music – New Forms
Aad van Nieuwkerk
‘Perhaps many of the perplexing problems of the new music could be put into a new light if we were to reintroduce the ancient idea of music being a reflection of nature.’ George Crumb
‘Reintroducing an idea will take us one step away from nature, which might not be such a bad thing.’ Yannis Kyriakides
‘Nature has her own music and music has her own nature.’ Anna Korsun
‘And indeed, as Wilde reminds us, if we view nature as being a reflection of art!’ Trevor Grahl
New ways of presenting new music: it seems like everyone’s talking about this. Initiatives shoot up like mushrooms: orchestras are changing tack, concert halls are reconsidering their age-old principles, and festivals are presenting symphonic repertory together with trendy DJs and grunge bands as a matter of course. The question is ‘Why?’.
Audiences are getting older and you’re sup-
tory methods. I’ve noticed a few examples lately,
And varying forms of classical music at all sorts
posed to attract younger audiences (who, for
which I don’t mention below as advice or results,
of festivals – pop, family, cultural, or just cozy –
that matter, will also get older as time goes on).
just as opinions.
is almost a must, with or without a DJ.
Different. Spectacle! Artists want it, too. They
As to locations, concert halls are barely a match
And lastly, on the make-up of a performance.
want a video with their concert, or a light show
for old factory halls, shopping malls, churches,
When will the relationships between the
during an aria, or female dancers to liven up a
various outdoor sites, small art galleries,
different ‘ingredients’ of a ‘performance’ become
piano sonata. An artist is always looking for new
museums, you name it. At Christmas I saw a
flexible, variable, and irrelevant? When does the
talented cellist in the Albert Hein grocery market
question if something is a ‘concert with video’
at Schiphol Airport: Bach with broccoli. A few
or a ‘slide show with music’ become not more
months ago, music by Peter Adriaansz was
than a question about the technical prerequi-
excellently performed at the old sawmill in the
sites, instead of a step towards the correct way
Pastoe Factory in Utrecht.
of venue-related pigeon-holing? Arnoud
And younger audiences simply want Something
That very well may be, but I think it’s actually all about one thing: you don’t get anywhere with only sound, and maybe we never got anywhere with only sound, because in reality we humans don’t only listen. It’s impossible not to simultaneously look, feel, smell, be conscious of your surroundings, of the social context, and of the demands these make.
Noordegraaf (A.M. in the Holland Festival) Linear materialistic warehouse media increas-
makes splendid films, uh... music pieces... uh...
ingly share their position with streaming offered
videos? Yes, yes, and yes.
on Internet, with on-demand items on web sites, with the quickly growing role of social media, and with other new possibilities in the digital revolution. The Radio 4 ‘Eigentijds’ program increasingly makes not only an audio recording, but also a video recording, which is placed online. Museum audio tours are a long established practice; we’re now waiting for audio tours through the concert hall. No, that’s not live, but after all, neither were LPs or the kitchen radio, Last
The only thing I’m still waiting for is a new piece by an inventive composer in the form of a computer game. Then adventurous music will finally become an adventure...
FM, YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify, or iTunes. Yes, Justin Bennett already did something with audio walks, but is he a composer or a sound
Aad van Nieuwkerk
The concertgoer who doesn’t close his eyes the
artist? An astounding example of a viral is the
chief editor VPRO Radio 4
whole evening is not only listening, he/she is
YouTube films with the new opera by Nico Muhly,
also (unconsciously) looking around at the musi-
premiered in London at the end of June.
cians, or at the plaster ornaments all around, or at the irritating person coughing over there
We have to look for an ‘un-performance’ for
During the festival the Dutch broadcasting
on row four. But especially at what’s going on
new social contexts, alternatives in addition
organization VPRO will record a special
onstage. We can’t do otherwise. It’s always been
to traditional concerts. The flash mob by MCO
festival program. The concert recordings
a challenge to take into account the inability of
at Dam Square in Amsterdam last May, a protest
will be made in close co-operation with
humans to only listen (and not to look). Compos-
against cutbacks, would also have been possible
the Concertzender, VPRO Radio 4 and the web
ers, musicians, concert programmers, producers
without that calamitous reason. Satie’s ‘Vexa-
radio station Radio 4 Eigentijds. There will be
of radio programs, everyone wrestles in vain
tions’ were performed as a relay for pianists in
online broadcasts through a livestream at
with the same questions.
a gallery on the other side of the street during
www.radio4.nl/eigentijds and on September
November Music 2010. The Amsterdam pianist
15th there will be a broadcast featuring all the
You can imagine new presentation forms as to
Lucanet doesn’t perform onstage, but combines
highlights from the Muziekweek at Radio 4.
locations, mediums, social context, and prepara-
her music with short, playful films on YouTube.
6 — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — english
Wave Field Synthesis-systeem, The Game Of Life
From the very beginning, electronic music stands out by its source and the ways in which the sound is treated. Tape music, musique concrète, instruments with tape, or instru ments with electronic sound manipulation: a whole variety of forms and types have created a continually expanding electronic universe.
photo: Herre Vermeer
photo: René Mesman
From MIDI to four-dimensional sound
Program and production Gaudeamus Muziekweek
That the Gaudeamus Muziekweek moved to Utrecht affords us with the opportunity to create a new identity for the festival. But the question is: how to adjust a festival format without damaging its contents too much. This was our challenge when we started to try to reinvent the festival in Utrecht as of this past January. We wanted to use the center of Utrecht to our advantage because it offers so many excellent stages, churches, and other places, and everything is within walking distance. This fact challenged me to think about a number
With computers, MIDI, and a rich arsenal
environment. The pieces she plays by Marko
of new methods and techniques in today’s
Ciciliani and Yannis Kyriakides are written
manipulation of sound, it seems as if there
for violin, live electronics, video and light/
are infinite possibilities in the electronic
laser. Here music and imagery engage in a
dialog proceeding from different languages: a search for how light and sound affect each
A major challenge for both composers and musicians is the use of electronic sound manipulation in live situations; we will hear examples of this during the Muziekweek. The Disklavier – the digital descendent of
other and which energies that releases.
‘When I’m writing,
‘Does music write
sometimes it gets to
that place where I feel
like the piece is writing itself and I’m trying not
‘And when this
to get in the way.’
happens, one had
better not get in the way – it would be like
‘I can totally vouch for
stopping a runaway
this, the not getting in
locomotive. If there’s
the way is the difficult
an accident, clean up
later, and go on.’
concerts at one location with a single program centered on one ensemble, but an evening full of diverse performers, composers, and locations. Our aim is to make the concerts exciting, with challenging programs that continually surprise the public. In addition, we’ve done up the locations specifically for the Muziekweek; you really have to feel that you’re at a Muziekweek
As will become apparent in this concert by Barbara Lüneburg, composers of electronic music are not only searching for new sounds, they also want to realize new listening experiences.
the pianola – plays the main role in ‘Diskla-
of shorter programs in a single evening. Not
concert. As an extra attraction, we’ve placed remarkable sound installations at the concert locations, to make your evening complete before, during, and after the concerts. Another challenge was to make the composer more visible. Ultimately, the composer has the
vier Plus’, two concerts for this instrument in
At the Muziekhuis Utrecht (the office of the
main responsibility for what we hear, but usually
combination with live electronics and other
Gaudeamus Muziekweek), you will find a
he/she is anonymously present in the audience.
instruments. The Conlon Foundation stimu-
set-up of the trail-blazing sound system
During the concerts we want to bring the com
lates composers to write for the Disklavier,
called Wave Field Synthesis. This advanced
posers closer to the audiences and ‘give them
and today we will hear commissioned works
speaker system was developed because of
the microphone’ so that they can explain what
by Wouter Snoei, Chad Langford, Gert-Jan
the desire to expand the possibilities of the
inspired them. I can’t reveal yet in what format
Prins, and Hugo Morales. The piece by Morales
spatial representation of electronic music.
this will be, but on the web site of the Muziek
will be performed by the English pianist Sarah
The 192 speakers in this system suggest the
week you can meet a number of the nominated
Nicolls. The second concert presents the ver-
movement of sound and aim at a realistic
composers through their personal short videos,
satile singer and performer Stephanie Pan in
reconstruction of the natural behavior
allowing you to become acquainted with them
a new work by Danny de Graan. The program
of sound. At the lunch concert on Friday,
in a fun and easily accessible way.
also presents new works by Daniel Schorno,
September 9th, pieces by the young
Robert van Heumen and the winner of the
composers Ji Youn Kang and Yota Morimoto
International Conlon Music Prize for Diskla-
may be heard at the Muziekhuis Utrecht,
vier Plus 2011.
produced by this sound system.
Barbara Lüneburg, an expert in combining the violin with live electronics, will perform new pieces by Arturo Fuentes, Lou Mallozzi, Henry Vega, and John Croft within the inspiring architectural setting of the Van Schijndelhuis.
Wave Field Synthesis
She will also perform ‘Chameleon Chant’ by
Wed 7 September,
Fri 9 September,
Malle Maltis, a piece that turned out to be
12:30 and 22:45 hours
the winner of the third edition of the ECPNM
European Competition for Live Electronic Music Projects.
Disklavier Plus Thu 8 September,
In her other performance at the Muziekweek,
12:30 and 17:00 hours
Barbara Lüneburg embarks into a multi-media
We hope that we’ve been successful in reinventing ourselves and that as a festival visitor you will enjoy this first renewed festival edition in Utrecht.
english — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — 7
Gaudeamus Muziekweek as a platform foR tHE international talent Dmitri Kourliandski, after winning the Gaudeamus Prize 2003*
‘And then?... Then one more journey. Other days, other lands, different people… and so forever. I’m ready to leave for other distances again because you made me stronger. Thank you for all.’
The Gaudeamus Muziekweek does more than only offering the public good insight into how diverse music can be by the young composers who visit the festival from all over the world. For these composers, the Muziekweek is the place to meet each other and to discuss how divergent backgrounds and sources of inspiration can be, how different their training and local musical environ ments, or how the world looks from their workplace, and how divergent ambitions and future plans can be. The composers learn from the performances of their own works and from working with musicians and ensembles during the festival. And from the performances of colleagues’ work, they also learn how they can move ahead. But this opportunity has to be given to them.
For the first time the Gaudeamus Muziekweek is being held in Utrecht. How music-minded is Utrecht? We asked three directors of Utrecht art institu tions about the musical experience that impressed them the most: Vera Carasso of the Museum Speelklok, Nanette Ris of Muziekcentrum Vredenburg and Lucia Claus of the Utrecht Stadsschouwburg. photo: Jesse Nortier
‘From that moment on it really took off; commissions poured in from all over Europe.’
Utrecht and Music
Valerio Murat, winner Gaudeamus Prize 2002
Stadsschouwburg Utrecht ‘This question reminds me of the question, ‘Which child do I love the most?’ I love my two
The Gaudeamus Prize is not a prize that forms the culmination of a certain route. Rather it is a prize that, because it is coupled to a composition commission, forms a concrete step in a young composer’s development and career. With this prize composers really make progress (see the quotations above). Their development can be even more fruitful if this commission acquires a broader perspective. That is why the Gaudeamus Muziekweek is working with European and world organizations and networks similarly active in the development of talented composers. Thus talented compos ers selected by Gaudeamus can gain even more experience, while in turn the Gaudeamus Muziekweek gladly welcomes those composers selected by fellow organizations. In order to give a fresh stimulus to young compositional talent, the new network ‘Ulysses’ was recently formed for organizations such as IRCAM (Paris), Internationales Musik institut Darmstadt, Impuls (Graz), and Voix Nouvelles (Royau mont). With ‘Ulysses’, special talents, such as the winner of the Gaudeamus Prize, are offered the opportunity of partici pating in diverse workshops and of working with musicians or other art disciplines in various surroundings. Commissions for new compositions will be shared by member organizations and the resulting work will subsequently be performed more often at various new music festivals. The artistic directors of these organizations meet in Utrecht to make future concrete plans and to experience firsthand the unique projects at the Muziekweek. New developments by the Wave Field Synthesis, Paul Oomen’s 4D Sound, or the disklavier project are in turn interesting for these organizations. Thus the Gaudeamus Muziekweek is the starting point for all sorts of international co-productions, exchanges and other types of cooperation.
The idea of an ‘Orchestra of the 21st Century’ was launched during the Gaudeamus Muziekweek a few years ago, a new concept combining the symphonic dimension with new technologies, voice, and electronic music instruments; the strength of an orchestra with the flexibility of an ensemble. This special orchestra, baptized as ECO, the European Contemporary Orchestra, is comprised of de ereprijs orches tra (NL), Musiques Nouvelles (Mons, BE), and Ensemble Télémaque (Marseille, FR), in cooperation with Gaudeamus Muziekweek. In 2013 the orchestra will travel through Europe with new works that composers will write in close collabora tion with each other. During the Gaudeamus Muziekweek some of the musicians from the ensembles that participate in the orchestra will work together in three small groups in three short concerts on Saturday, September 10th. Dutch composers including Ezequiel Menalled and Christiaan Richter wrote new works for these short concerts, which audiences in France and Belgium will have the opportunity to enjoy later this year. Since its founding, Gaudeamus has formed the heart of the ECPNM (European Conference of Promoters of New Music), a network of about seventy festivals and organizations. Each year the ECPNM organizes the European Competition for Live Electronic Music Projects, with the finalists of this competition subsequently touring along the festivals. During the Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Barbara Lüneburg will perform the winning works of this competition for violin, electric violin, live electronics, and video in the inspiring architecture of the Van Schijndelhuis. In short, Gaudeamus never misses the opportunity of offering young composers a chance to continue developing themselves and today’s music, and to continue to excite audiences.
children inexpressibly and equally, and hope never to have to choose between them. I have many memories of worthwhile moments in which music predominated. Although I may wake up tomorrow morning with another, seemingly even more beloved memory, I’ll still choose ‘Diep in het bos’, a performance directed by Eric de Volder, with music by Dirk van der Harst. To my surprise, in a sloppy stack of CDs I find a live recording of three songs of this performance, recorded in 1999. I listen and think that this won’t convince anyone because the context of the piece is missing. Rarely was rational thinking (thinking about Dutroux’s deeds) so tied to emotions by amazing, unruly music. That music still sounds unruly. It was immeasurably beautiful at the time: seven women, seven voices, a barren stage floor, and no borders for the audacious imagination.’
composer refuses to die.’
composer refuses to
have children, if only he is not head of an
‘A new composer is
insurance company :)…’
born every minute…’
‘Unless the present-day Dutch government kills him or her.’ Trevor Grahl
ECO Small Forms Sat 10 September, 12:30 hours Various locations, in co-production
www.ecpnm.com www.ecosound.eu www.ulysses-network.eu
with Open Monumentendag
* ‘La musique objective’, ed.2E2M, p.11.
Barbara Lüneburg Wed 7 September, 12:30 hours
8 — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — english
Beyond the notes photo: Ben van Duin
A conversation with Michel van der Aa and Rozalie Hirs
A conversation with composer Michel van der Aa and Rozalie Hirs, chairperson of this year’s jury for the Gaudeamus Prize, on the importance of this prize for composers.
‘When we separate music from life we get art.’ John Cage
‘Death is the only thing
In 1999, early in his career, Michel van der Aa participated in the Gaudeamus competition with a conceptual piece, ‘Between’ for four percussion ists and electronics. ‘I was very happy that my piece was selected, that it was played at the festival, and at such a high level of performance. Before my concert music had been performed in the Netherlands, but that was mostly my music for dance performances. After winning the Gaudeamus Prize, my career really took off.’
that can separate life from music.’ Yannis Kyriakides
‘If we add art to life, life becomes better, living becomes more cheerful!’ Anna Korsun
‘But in order for this miraculous transformation to occur, we must first learn to listen.’ Trevor Grahl
Michel van der Aa
sort of lucky feeling, we became very enthusiastic and happy. Such a discovery is inspiring.’
‘The Gaudeamus Prize is an important podium for composers of the youngest generation in
Winning the competition meant a lot to Michel:
the Netherlands and abroad, and I thought it
‘The prize was a firm push for me. Concretely, it
was wonderful that my piece was performed.
was through Gaudeamus that director Armin
At the time it never crossed my mind that I could
Köhler of the Donaueschinger Musiktage noticed
win the competition. There were so many good
me. And subsequently, someone from the
pieces that year. I was just sitting there in the
publisher Boosey & Hawkes was in the concert
hall with a T-shirt on and was totally surprised.
hall at his festival.’ Rozalie: ‘Someone can always
I didn’t feel the competitive element in the least.’
be sitting in the hall who is moved by a piece and
Rozalie Hirs: ‘That competitive element isn’t the
wants to do something with it, if it’s the winner or
most important aspect of the prize. Actually,
not. But I do think that it’s a very significant step
the Muziekweek is about something else: you
in the career of all the winners.’
become inspired, and you meet colleagues and listen to their work. The international character
According to Michel, winning the prize did not
of this prize is remarkable, and friendships are
influence his composing: ‘No, I had always been
born that often last for the rest of your life. The
very ambitious, not to become a famous com-
value of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek as an inter-
photo: Co Broerse
tic idea? When a piece really stood out, we got a
photo: Richard Ayres
How did you experience participating in and winning the Gaudeamus Prize?
the jury at work
Works by Michel van der Aa and Rozalie Hirs will
poser, but to continually reinvent myself,
In light of current developments, should we fear the end of auto nomously composed music?
national meeting place for composers cannot be
to develop further. But it was an important
Rozalie: ‘No, what’s unique about music is that
The Night of the Unexpected
feather in my cap. Since then my composing has
it has something untouchable that can move
Thu 8 September, 20:30 hours
evolved, although I still don’t understand why I
you. And that is true for autonomous music as
Which criteria played a role in the works selected by the jury?
made ‘Between’ back then.’ Rozalie: ‘The most
well as for film music, for example. I believe quite
important thing for a composer is that he or she
strongly in the blurring of genres and musical
Rozalie: ‘I think that all the pieces that we chose
continues composing. That he or she continues
styles, and in the integration of different media,
(unanimously, that was a prerequisite) are really
to develop regardless of winning a prize or not.’
including music, in single works. I think that composers and listeners move ever more freely
good. That totaled to only some twenty of the
between different genres and media.’ Michel:
of the three jury members thought were good
Do you think that without having won the Gaudeamus Prize you would be where you are now?
led to the most interesting discussions. It was
Michel: ‘It’s impossible for me to answer that.
important that composers continue to broaden
then that you talked about music, about crafts-
Being performed at the Donaueschinger
their viewpoint, that is, if they have a penchant
manship, about what you think is important. In
Musiktage was crucial. Maybe it would have
towards this. Composers are increasingly work-
general, it’s important that the pieces are clearly
taken longer, maybe not. I am now in the luxuri-
ing with imagery, they’re thinking more about
notated and have something individual to say.
ous position that Boosey & Hawkes is active for
stage presentation. People are going beyond the
You look for something that says something
me. It’s exactly that – having prospects – that
notes. The role of self-sufficient music is certainly
about the maker or about the world. How far
has become so difficult for composers now.’
changing, but I don’t believe that the combina-
four hundred submissions. From these we chose our favorites. Actually, the pieces that only two
does someone dare to go in translating his artis-
‘There will always be composers, including myself, who will write concert music. But it’s
tion of music and multimedia is the only answer.’
be performed at The Night of the Unexpected.
english — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — 9 photo: Paul & Menno de Nooijer
The Night of the Unexpected
photo: Pieter Kers
Knalpot, 2010 photo: Maarten Mooijman
which cross and inseminate each other. Mapping
What can you tell us about the program of this year’s Night of the Unexpected?
the whole musical field without the artificial
‘The program is still not final, but I can tell you
categories in which some people think, that is
a few things. Pianist Sarah Nicolls will perform
what I wanted! That’s how I disassociate myself
‘Transit’ by Michel van der Aa, and Erik Bosgraaf,
from the focus on the Western, academic culture
a recorder player, will venture into Van der Aa’s
of composed music.’
work, side by side with music by the 17th-century
porary music has an enormous palette with colors and styles that develop without borders, Lean Left
The Night of the Unexpected is the title of a special part of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek. In a single evening the audience embarks on an uninterrupted journey along musical borders, subsonic abysses, and endless soundscapes. All performers play only briefly and are followed without interruption by yet another horizon in the unbounded musical spectrum of The Night of the Unexpected. I meet Roland Spekle, the program director of this evening, while he stops off at Utrecht Central Station. His enthusiasm for music and for his brainchild translates into a contagious and informative verbal waterfall com parable to the dynamics of The Night of the Unexpected itself. That the formula of The Night of the Unexpected is suc cessful, is proven by interest in other countries; there are currently contacts with Hannover, Berlin, Moscow, London and Istanbul about organizing The Night of the Unexpected there. For Roland Spekle this is an excellent opportunity to realize his goal: exchange and dialogue throughout the entire field of contem porary music.
You’ve been organizing The Night of the Unexpected for a number of years now. What was the starting point of this initiative?
Jacob van Eyck from Utrecht. Slagwerk Den Haag
to pop music were hauled into the Gaudeamus
You could say that the Night offers a borderless perspective on contemporary music. It might offer composed, improvised, pop, ethnic, DJs or black metal. We can run into everything at the Night. What does the Night try to achieve with this diversity?
Muziekweek. From the start I wanted to create
‘There are two rules in the concept of this pro-
an evening really different from the regular con-
gram. The first is that artists may not perform
cert format and this is the result.’
longer than 15 minutes. This allows for the
‘The Night of the Unexpected already existed before I joined in 2003. The Night was developed at Gaudeamus because they wanted to organize an evening where the ragged edges of contemporary music could be included. That’s how electronics, sound art, and even styles related
performs in a set-up around the audience and we will hear and see a piece from ‘Jane’, an absurd and successful combination of film and live music by Jorrit Tamminga, a composer from Utrecht. From a very different corner we’ll hear ‘Hi energy improvisation’ by Lean Left with two guitarists from the Ex, saxophonist Ken Vandermark, and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love.’
How did you get the idea of organizing a concert that combines so many different musicians and styles in a single program?
whole program to be demonstrated. The audi-
How do you view the relationship between the program at the Night and the rest of the program at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek?
ence stays captivated; the momentum of the
‘That relationship is very clear. Ensembles
program holds everyone’s attention. The second
specialized in contemporary composed music or
rule is that artists may not present themselves
pieces nominated by the jury of the Gaudeamus
on a stage. The traditional 19th-century division
Prize fit into the concept. At the same time we
‘A concept like this offers the opportunity of
between musicians and audience is dissolved.
add other accents to demonstrate the develop-
bringing together many different groups and
I want to challenge that worn habit offering audi-
ments in new music to its full extent.’
artists into a single, compact program. I got the
ences a comfort zone. During The Night of the
idea for the concept when I read David Toop’s
Unexpected you can’t sit and doze in your chair,
book An Ocean of Sound. David Toop describes
you have to stay with it. I wanted to arrange the
the shock that Claude Debussy felt when he
program so that a pop music fan also wants to
The Night of the Unexpected
visited the World Exposition in Paris in 1889 and
listen to and could appreciate ‘Lux Aeterna’ by
Thu 8 September, 20:30 hours
heard the sounds of the Javanese gamelan for the
Ligeti, for example.’
first time. Debussy was amazed by the funda-
Last year at The Night of the Unexpected in
mentally different music he heard there. From
Paradiso the interviewer experienced for himself
that moment on he began to look for musical
that the dynamics work. After listening to newly
sounds unfettered by conventions and beyond
composed music for gamelan for some time,
the academic rules of harmony, melody, and
the hushed atmosphere was completely
rhythm. It made me realize that music is timeless
smashed to smithereens by the Norwegian
and in all corners of the world. All the barriers
metal band Killl. A greater contrast was hardly
you raise are arbitrary. With this thought in
conceivable, but audience concentration was
mind, I wanted to make a statement: contem-
optimal for both acts.
breadth, diversity, and the dynamics of the
10 — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — english
Between Image and Sound Rob van Rijswijk / Jeroen Strijbos, Whispers
Hans van Koolwijk, Kniktiks
In addition to the concert program, Gaudeamus Muziek week also presents new music incorporated in figurative installations. At various locations in the city, the public can view, experience, or operate beautifully formed sound installations.
Sound installation route Museum Speelklok Dyane Donck / Jake de Vos, N2O; Multiversum I + II Dyane Donck / Evelien van den Broek, Yesterday; Circular Music Karlheinz Stockhausen, Music boxes from the Zodiac Rob van Rijswijk / Jeroen Strijbos, Dadoc Joost van Balkom, Humming Birds Theater Kikker
Arno Fabre, Dropper 01
The development of sound installations into a mature art discipline stems from two different lines of approach. First of all, composers have the need to develop ‘machines’ that engage in a certain musical interaction with their surroundings or with the beholder. A tendency by visual artists who also want to incorporate sound or music in their art is another development that contributed to this new art form. A leading pioneer in this area was the Korean artist Nam June Paik, who operated at the border of both disciplines and who created a lot of commotion in the fifties and sixties with his sound installations and performances inspired by the Fluxus movement. Since then, this art form has developed into a flourishing independent art form in which Dutch artists such as Edwin van der Heide and the duo Rob van Rijswijk and Jeroen Strijbos have gained quite some international publicity. Located at the Museum Speelklok are installations by duo pairs Rob van Rijswijk and Jeroen Strijbos, Dyane Donck and Jake de Vos, and Dyane Donck and Evelien van den Broek, among others. The ‘road trip’ Like Harry starts at the festival hub, where you can experience the center of Utrecht in a special way, armed with headphones. (For more information, see the article on the festival hub.)
Carillonist Joost van Balkom presents his ‘Humming Birds’: driven by a computer, small mechanical things that look like small birds tick extremely quickly and softly on the bells of a moving carillon. The result is that the familiar sound of bells being struck changes into the sound of bells being bowed, a totally different sound experience. The pieces that Van Balkom specifically composed for this new instrument make thankful use of the enormous expansion in the performance possibilities of the traditional carillon. ‘Kniktiks’ by Hans van Koolwijk is at De Neude. Just as with Arno Fabre’s work, ‘Kniktiks’ forms a dialog with a natural phenomenon. ‘Kniktiks’ are manipulated flagpoles placed in a circle and moved by the wind. Tubular bells are connected to these flagpoles, which ring out when the flags move. When you stand in the middle of the circle, you can hear this bell music driven by the wind. Another installation or sound system should also be men tioned. The revolutionary sound system, Wave Field Synthesis a unique system with 192 speakers, reconstructs the natural behavior of sound, and has been set up in Muziekhuis Utrecht, the office of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek.
Arno Fabre, Dropper 01 De Neude Hans van Koolwijk, Kniktiks Muziekhuis Utrecht The Game of Life, Wave Field Synthesis
Sound installation route Wed 7, Sat 10 and Sun 11 September, from 12:00 hours Various locations Like Harry Wed 7, Sat 10 en Sun 11 September, from 11:00 hours, Museum Speelklok departure between 11:00 and 12:00, 13:30 and 14:30, 16:00 and 17:00 hours (except Sunday) Wave Field Synthesis Fri 9 September, 12:30 hours Muziekhuis Utrecht
In Vredenburg Leeuwenbergh you can see and hear a new work by Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec, born in Slovenia, which he made specifically for this location. Sambolec’s installations are often enlargements of a specific natural phenomenon or engage in a dialog with the work’s surroundings. At this same location, in the room next to the concert hall, you can see and hear the ceramic sound sculpture ‘Whispers’ by Rob van Rijswijk and Jeroen Strijbos, with text fragments and speech forming the basis of a fascinating aural search. The beautiful installation ‘Dropper 01’ by the French artist Arno Fabre is located in the small hall of Theater Kikker. He was inspired by water leaking through a roof: eight percussive instruments are set up in a circle under a network of cables and pipes. A computer program controls the water drops that fall from the pipes onto the instruments. Four surrounding speakers amplify the sounds and together they create a com position that sounds somewhat like an Indonesian gamelan.
‘Everyone is born
‘Good! Fewer composers
with genius, but most
– less competition!’
people only keep it
a few minutes.’ Edgar Varèse
‘...and to reclaim it, we must learn to listen,
‘Genius is a stupid
and to unlearn.’
english — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — 11
biking for inspiration
Where does musical inspiration come from? What prompts a composer to decide to sit down at the piano, at a computer, or at an empty piece of paper and start? Three composers on inspiration and (autonomous) musical thinking.
Wilbert Bulsink cycled via Scandinavia to
confront you with the results of the way mankind
received and accepted by a small group or even
Istanbul. In five months he biked through fifteen
deals with the earth.’
an individual. When each of us receives music,
Utrecht and Music For the first time the Gaudeamus Muziekweek is being held in Utrecht. How music-minded is Utrecht? We asked three directors of Utrecht art institu tions about the musical experience that impressed them the most: Vera Carasso of the Museum Speelklok, Nanette Ris of Muziekcentrum Vredenburg and Lucia Claus of the Utrecht Stadsschouwburg.
we situate it within a constellation of our prior
countries, covering some 9,000 kilometers. ‘I planned to make short recordings along the
If you compose music based on such a concrete
experiences. I don’t see a way that this can be
way, but not with the purpose of making a piece.
source of inspiration, can we still regard it as
avoided – or could ever have been truly avoided at
It seemed to me to be conceptually interesting to
autonomous musical thinking?
any point in the history of music, for that matter.
record 15 seconds each day and to string all these
‘Music is a language and I’ve developed my own
Furthermore, much of the interest in music can
samples together as an impression of my trip.
language. I think in that language, and it has its
be found in the interplay of genres or influences,
By now this has evolved into an entirely different
own logic that is perfectly clear to me. The music
and the layered conceptions of lineage and cul-
plan for which I’m looking for a form (June 2011).
is born by imagination, that is, an imagination
tural dialogue that this interplay provokes.’
I do have a feeling what it should become: diary
in sounds, which in this case is stimulated by the
fragments, images, stories, and music will all
selected photos. I didn’t want musical scenery for
play a role. I want to make a travelogue in music.’
the photos nor a slideshow as a background to my piece. Images and sound had to be at the same
Do you think that such a personal motivation
level. The power of contemporary music is that
allows for autonomous musical thinking?
it has the possibility of saying something with
‘I try to regard the meaning of the material that
today’s sounds. These sounds belong to our time
I recorded while on the road as separate from its
and therefore have meaning for people of today.’
photo: Arthur Kaye
photo: Geert Glas
Muziekcentrum Vredenburg ‘I could name at least 100 musical experiences, but what I’ve always remembered is the first concert by Hoketus. I was in my early twenties and it was around 1976 or 1977. Hoketus, Louis Andriessen’s ensemble played works by Paul Koek and Huib Emmer, among others, at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. It was my first confrontation with minimal music, music reduced the basics. The ensemble had a double instrumentation, set up on each side of the hall, which sort of suggested a competition. It was so exciting because that double instrumentation created an echo effect in which small rhythmical shifts acquired an enormous charge. You started noticing the details a lot and you really began to
Wilbert Bulsink & Geert Glas, Götterfunken
Ted Hearne will write a new piece for Ensemble Klang and for ECO Small Forms.
source. I disconnect the recordings from their
The American composer Ted Hearne won the
origins and try to approach them as autono-
Gaudeamus Prize in 2009 with a selection from
mous sounds. In addition, I try to take form
his ‘Katrina Ballads’, inspired by the horrors that
and structure as my point of departure, leaving
the hurricane Katrina caused in New Orleans
both content and inspiration to recede to the
background. Thus, although the content is not
I like to uncover musicians’ resistances and push them to take them on.
perfectly autonomous, the way the piece is con-
What inspired him? ‘I am most inspired by the
ceived is certainly autonomous. I actually don’t
personal influences of individual performers.
have to know where my inspiration comes from.
What is a particular musician’s comfort zone?
Ultimately, my composing has more to do with
What are their ‘default’ gestures? What kind of
abstract meanings than with concrete musical
ideas is he/she not used to exploring in music?
content. For me, autonomous musical thinking
I like to uncover musicians’ resistances and push
and program music form opposites, but I con-
them to take them on. I find that inspiration
sider both to be valid approaches to music, and
often comes from this challenge – creating a
I don’t hesitate to mix them together. A piece can
combination of material that contains particles
be seen as separate from the contextual occasion
that musicians can recognize as of his or her
and from its source of inspiration. Audiences
own DNA as well as particles of foreign material.
Wed 7 September, 21:00 hours
don’t have to have anything to do with that.’
And how far can I go before this challenge turns
a musician against me or against the project? Together with his band Hexnut, Ned McGowan
Sometimes this philosophy has failed me, but
ECO Small Forms
presents a series of pieces based on photos by
often it has yielded results that have helped me
Sat 10 September, 12:30 hours
Edward Burtynsky. It’s McGowan’s idea and he
grow as a composer.’
Various locations, in coproduction
also composed the music of one of these pieces.
with Open Monumentendag
‘I wanted to make a cycle about the earth’s trans-
Ted doesn’t think music has a universal meaning
formation due to human intervention, based
but also doesn’t believe that music can express
on a number of concepts. These are extrac-
something purely musical all by itself. ‘That
Sun 11 September, 12:30 hours
tion, refinement, construction, consumption,
would be foolish to assert. If ‘musical autonomy’
destruction, and recycling. These themes may
is the idea that music is not truly capable of
be found in Burtynsky’s work, but I formulated
representing anything beyond itself, I would
them myself. The photos by Burtynsky are both
strongly disagree. Yet the same piece may be
Sun 11 September, 17:00 hours
fascinating and shocking, beautiful photos that
capable of representing a tangible idea that is
appreciate it. It gave me a new, totally different listening experience. Later I heard it all, Glass and Reich, but this was really very exciting. It would be great if these special happenings were held more often and if we could bring in young audiences, like then. The hall was full then.’
‘I became aware that
‘Think so not only
all sounds can make
This quotation has been ‘Our mind which is hard
wired to find meaning
more likely said: ‘I
is tricked into seeing it
became aware that all
sounds [that I wrote]
can make meaningful language.’ Trevor Grahl
12 — gaudeamus muziekweek 2011 — english
Proportions and fantasy Ulrich Pöhl is artistic director and conductor of
strengthens my interpretation, but in some
the Insomnio ensemble of Utrecht, one of the
instances I alter something.’
leading ensembles in Dutch musical life. During
photo: Rachel Nieborg
Almost by definition, new music forms a challenge to audiences. But first and foremost it’s a challenge to the musicians who see a composition for the first time. How do you fathom the musical language of a piece before you’re familiar with it? A small tour along a pianist and two artistic ensemble directors reveals that the composer is rarely offside in inter preting and rehearsing a new piece.
the Muziekweek, Insomnio will perform with
Pete Harden, artistic director of Ensemble Klang,
exclusively new works: four nominated composi-
points out the importance of the context of each
tions, and a piece by Artur Akshelyan, the result
piece. ‘That context is important, especially if
of the honorable mention he received at the
it’s a very abstract piece! With a piece such as
Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2010.
‘Katrina Ballads’ by Ted Hearne you naturally look at what the texts mean. It’s not only the literal
How do you work on a piece that you don’t know?
meaning of the words, but it’s also about the
‘As a conductor, I have the score and I take care
‘social ecology’ of a piece.’ Does that information
that I know it before I start working with the
change the interpretation of a piece?
musicians for the first time. The musicians expect
that from me. Actually, it hardly ever happens that I don’t understand a piece. What does
Pianist Tomoko Mukaiyama isn’t often surprised
happen is that a piece is so boarded up on paper
by the score of a new piece: ‘Unfortunately, I
that I can hardly imagine the result. That also
haven’t seen anything with new notation or a
says something about the quality of the com
new language in a long time. I can always com-
position. If you can’t see the music among all
pare it with something that already exists. That
those notes, then there’s no point in going on.
I can’t identify a score at all doesn’t occur often.
I rate good proportions in a composition as very
There’s always a reference to something else.
important, proportions and fantasy. What I also
I’m very familiar with scores as a medium and
find important is if the score includes contact
they generally afford enough information.
between the various players. Naturally and
The advantage of living composers is that you
happily, I’m occasionally surprised during a
can always phone them.
rehearsal. Sometimes something like that
Naturally and happily, I’m occasion ally surprised during a rehearsal. Sometimes something like that strengthens my interpretation, but in some instances I alter something. Pete Harden affirms this: ‘Because we work with the six of us and everyone always participates in everything, we are all familiar with a piece at all levels. It always takes a lot of rehearsal time,
but it’s not often that a piece remains incompre-
photo: Dorota Walentynowicz
hensible.’ What’s the case with the pieces that will be performed by Tomoko Mukaiyama and the Seattle Chamber Players at the Muziekweek? ‘Because I’m quite familiar with the language of the pieces that I will perform during the Muziekweek (‘Satellites’ by Yannis Kyriakides, and ‘Style Wars V – Minimal Madness’ by Michiel Mensingh), I easily get a grip on these pieces. I have known Kyriakides’s music for a long time, some ten years now, and I’ve already played a piece by Mensingh. That’s why I’m quite familiar with their language, which makes my introduction to a new piece easier.’ Ensemble Klang
Increasingly, composers prefer workshop set-
ups to try out their first compositional sketches. In turn, they integrate this feedback in their piece in the making. Ulrich Pöhl is positive about this way of working: ‘Then you can really model Insomnio
something on an ensemble, address the specific
Mon 5 September, 20:15 hours
qualities of the musicians and the ensemble.
That also improves the quality of a composition.’
‘People whose sensibility
is destroyed by music
Noise level 90 dB.
in trains, airports, lifts,
Who is Beethoven?.’
Seattle Chamber Players /
an exchange: ‘Composers sometimes arrive with
cannot concentrate on
only a few measures or only an idea, which we
Sat 10 September, 21:30 hours
then discuss extensively. That makes a lot of
difference. Many composers are searching for
a Beethoven Quartet.’ Witold Lutoslawski
‘I prefer to take this
Pete Harden confirms the advantages of such
another relationship between their work and
literally: because ‘People who think
of Muzak in public
the musicians who have to play it. And some
that a Beethoven
spaces, our population
Sun 11 September, 12:30 hours
composers gladly allow the performers quite
string quartet is the
only sensible musical
on everything else
normally, but just not a
hear music in trains,
airports and lifts.’